Israel announces extension of Gaza truce

The process of hostage release will continue subject to the agreement's terms

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Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi (centre) is supported by her mother after she was released from prison by Israel in the West Bank town of Ramallah, early on Thursday, November 30. — AP
Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi (centre) is supported by her mother after she was released from prison by Israel in the West Bank town of Ramallah, early on Thursday, November 30. — AP

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 8:52 AM

Last updated: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 9:04 AM

Israeli authorities on Thursday announced the extension of the pause in Gaza war, which will allow more hostages and prisoners to be released.

In a post on X, the Israeli Defence Forces said: 'In light of the mediators' efforts to continue the process of releasing the abductees and subject to the terms of the agreement, the truce will continue".

The six-day halt to fighting was supposed to end this morning, with a last group of hostages freed from Gaza overnight in exchange for dozens of Palestinian prisoners.

The truce has brought a temporary halt to fighting that began on October 7 when Hamas poured over the border into Israel, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping about 240, according to Israeli authorities.

Israel's subsequent air and ground campaign in Gaza has killed nearly 15,000 people, also mostly civilians, according to Hamas officials, and reduced large parts of the north of the territory to rubble.

Since the truce began on November 24, 70 Israeli hostages have been freed in return for 210 Palestinian prisoners.

Around 30 foreigners, most of them Thais living in Israel, have been freed outside the terms of the deal.

Israel has made clear it sees the truce as a temporary halt intended to free hostages, but there are growing calls for a more sustained pause in fighting.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded a "true humanitarian ceasefire", warning Gazans are "in the midst of an epic humanitarian catastrophe."

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